New Court Facility to Be Constructed

Department of Justice

April 30, 2001 12:00 PM

Port Hawkesbury’s court facility is being replaced.

Justice Minister Michael Baker unveiled plans for the
construction of a justice centre for Inverness County today. He
was joined by Tourism and Culture Minister Rodney MacDonald.

"We have known for some time the present facility is not
adequate," said Mr. Baker. "We are delighted that we are able to
move forward with this important project, which will have an
extremely positive impact on the community."

The three-courtroom facility is expected to be about 3,500 square
metres (39,000 square feet). It will also house offices for the
Public Prosecution Service, Legal Aid, Victims’ Services,
Corrections and Court Administration. The facility will also
provide interview rooms for use by defence counsel. The building
will be designed in a manner which will preserve the independence
of the judiciary.

The project will cost about $6.5 million. It will be fully funded
by the province, with the capital costs amortized over several
years.

The Inverness and Richmond areas are expected to experience
sustained growth over the next 15 years--mainly because of
offshore exploration and development. The present population and
case load dictate the need for a three-courtroom facility, along
with the satellites located in Port Hood and Arichat, to
appropriately handle projected demand in the medium and long
terms.

A local Courthouse Users Committee--composed of members of the
judiciary, the local bar, laypersons and justice officials--has
been involved in developing a concept for the new facility.

Detailed planning and site selection will take place over the
next several months. The new facility is expected to be
operational by the summer of 2003.     

"This is good news, not only for the legal community, but for the
entire Inverness/Richmond area," said Mr. Baker.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Justice Minister Michael Baker was in Port Hawkesbury today

to unveil plans for the construction of a justice centre for

Inverness County.

     Mr. Baker says the government has known for some time the

present facility is not adequate.

     The facility will be about 35-hundred square metres, with

three courtrooms. It will also house offices for the Public

Prosecution Service, Legal Aid, Victims’ Services, Corrections

and Court Administration. Interview rooms will be available for

defence counsel.

     Detailed planning and site selection will take place over

the next several months. The new facility should be operational

by the summer of 2003.

     The building is expected to cost about $6.5 million.

-30-

Contact: Michele McKinnon
         Department of Justice
         902-424-6811
         E-mail: mckinngm@gov.ns.ca

kjd         April 30, 2001      12:10 P.M.